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» June 1, 2011 «
Rainy spring weather continues to create concerns on California farms. Storms in the Central Valley the last few days could threaten ripening cherries. The moisture can cause cherries to crack. Rain has been spotty in cherry-growing regions. Farmers say damage will be lessened by cool, breezy weather following the rains, but one grower estimates about 5 percent of his cherries have cracked because of the moisture.
Cool temperatures have slowed development of California's processing tomato crop, according to a government report. Canneries that make the tomatoes into tomato sauce, ketchup and other products have contracted for 258 thousand acres … about 11 thousand fewer than last year. Rain caused planting delays, but in spite of the weather challenges analysts say the plants remain in good condition.
A 19th California horse has been confirmed to have equine herpes virus. The infected horse was found in Colusa County, meaning that animals in 13 counties have contracted the illness. One horse died from the virus and the others have been placed under quarantine. State animal-health authorities have updated biosecurity guidelines for horse events, to try to assure the disease does not spread any further.
Saying that 21st century farmers can co-exist with urbanization by using vacant land to produce food, former state Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura is doing just that. Kawamura's company is developing a farming business on land within the Orange County Great Park, growing a variety of crops on parkland. Park visitors will be able to see how strawberries, green beans, celery and other vegetables grow.Top